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When Should You Split In Blackjack? (& What Does It Mean)

blackjack split

Although casino games are games of chance, it doesn’t hurt to employ a bit of strategy. This certainly applies to blackjack, where there is a basic strategy that players generally follow as it can help you make more effective decisions, such as helping you to decide, ‘When should you split in blackjack?’

The split bet can be a handy tool in blackjack and has several advantages. All you have to do is make sure to utilise it where appropriate, and we at the fast withdrawal casino, King Casino, will try to help you do that! We’re a regulated online casino that offers various online casino games to our players; this includes a selection of incredible blackjack games

Today, we’ll help you understand a key component of basic blackjack strategy – split betting. When should you split in blackjack? Are there any dos and don’ts of split betting? Keep reading this detailed article to find out all you need to know! 

What is Splitting in Blackjack? 

Before we go any further, let’s clear up what blackjack splitting is. This is a blackjack move you can play when your initial 2-card hand includes any 2 cards of the same value. When this happens, you can ‘split’ the cards into 2 separate hands. After this, you will receive an extra card for each hand from the dealer. 

When you want to split in blackjack, you should make a wager on the new hand you’ve created through the process of splitting. This amount should equal your initial bet at the start of the blackjack game.For more info on the various terms in blackjack, check pit our blackjack terminology article. 

When Should You Split Pairs in Blackjack? 

Blackjack splitting can be beneficial. However, that doesn’t mean you should always split in blackjack! Getting too enthusiastic could be your downfall as you have to make 2 separate bets when you’re splitting. You may lose both of these bets if the cards aren’t in your favour.

The answer to ‘when should you split in blackjack?’ depends on several factors. These include:

  • The rank of the pair you have.
  • The size of your initial bet.
  • The hand of the dealer.
  • How the session is going.

Splitting when keeping these factors in mind may give you a slight advantage. There are certain pairs in blackjack that you should always split on, and there are certain situations you should never split on (more on that later). However, make sure you only split pairs in blackjack if you think it’s worth it. Remember, you will be betting double the amount and not every pair is meant to be split! 

How Many Times Can You Split in Blackjack? 

In a standard game of blackjack, a player can split hands up to a maximum of 3 times. Different real money casinos have varying rules regarding blackjack splitting, so you should always check the casino’s rules before using the blackjack split tactic. A maximum of 3 splits means you can have up to 4 hands per round. 

Can the Dealer Split in Blackjack? 

The same rules that apply to the player do not apply to the dealer in blackjack. The dealer has a unique set of rules, and according to these rules, the dealer does not have the option to split or double down. In all the standard variations, the dealer is not allowed to split. Only the players can make use of this option.

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Always Split When 

Now that you know what blackjack splitting is, let’s talk about when you should split in live blackjack. Certain situations may be more appropriate to split than others. Let’s take a look at these situations below:

  • Always split Aces

In blackjack, you can find several cards that have a 10-point value. Not splitting aces means that one of your aces has a value of 1 while the other has a value of 11. Drawing a 10-point card would only take your total to 12, so getting 2 Aces can be tricky. Hence, it’s always better to split the Aces. 

Note – you should always split your Aces if you are dealt a second pair (after the first split), if possible. 

  • Always split Eights

Getting 2 eights in blackjack is thought of as a generally poor hand. Playing these eights in a single hand can complicate it as several blackjack cards can make you go bust. Hence, splitting your eights to potentially create a more competitive hand is usually a better tactic. 

Note – you should always split your eights if you are dealt a second pair (after the first split), if possible.

Don’t Split When 

Now that you know when you should split in blackjack, let’s talk about the situations where you should never split in blackjack: 

  • Don’t split 10’s

Getting two 10s can be a highly promising hand as you already have a strong total of 20. Splitting them would be ill-advised as you would lose a great hand in the hopes of creating 2 more such hands. As we all know, that may not always happen. Why take the risk? 

  • Don’t split 4’s

A pair of 4s means you have a total of 8, so you can’t go bust on your next card. The highest possible score you can get on your next card is 19 (considering you get an Ace). Splitting will make this hand tougher for you as you may not necessarily get big cards in both hands after splitting. 

  • Don’t split 5’s 

Two 5’s is a hand you should consider doubling down upon instead of splitting! If you split a pair of 5’s, you may get a lower-value hand or a hand that could go bust as you proceed. 

When Splitting Cards Depends on the Dealer’s Up Card 

Splitting cards can depend on the dealer’s up card in certain situations. These situations are: 

  • When you have 2’s, 3’s, or 7’s, the dealer gets an up card with a value ranging from 2-7. 
  • When you have a pair of 9’s, the dealer gets an up card that ranges from 2-6 or 8-9. 
  • When you have a pair of 6’s and the dealer’s up card ranges from 2-6. Splitting could help you out in such a situation. 

The Disadvantage of Splitting Cards in Blackjack 

While you may stand to potentially win more in blackjack by splitting, you also double your initial wager through the splitting process as you have to place the same bet on the newly created pair, so you could stand to lose more. Not to mention if you can split pairs more than once, you are betting even more with each new pair created. That’s why you shouldn’t split every time you get a pair! 

Always make sure to choose the best moment to split. Certain situations may be more appropriate compared to others, so keep a watchful eye! 

Whether you wish to give this technique a go or are just looking for a reliable online casino to play blackjack, you’re in the right place. You can play some of the best online blackjack games right here at King Casino:

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